More and more employees are being encouraged to isolate themselves from their workplace as coronavirus reaches its pandemic status. This applies to those who aren't showing any symptoms and can be a significant disruption to productivity.
Microsoft is already doing its part to aid in that, offering free Microsoft Teams premium features for six-months. However, perhaps due to merger plans, it has failed to mention the existing free functionality of its other video calling software – Skype.
As pointed out by ITProToday's Richard Hay, it could be the best solution for many. Skype Meetings is a browser-based tool that lets you leverage the full power of the software without the need to sign up. You can record calls, blur your background, and share your screen when necessary.
On top of this, recent updates to the desktop client extend some of this functionality to the desktop client. As of December, you can invite others to a call without them having an account.
All of this should make Skype a pretty pain-free way to connect during the outbreak. It's especially useful for small or non-technical businesses that don't have a Teams or Slack infrastructure.
Obviously, none of this will be a true replacement for on-premises work and for some having that physical attendance is essential. However, I think some enterprises will be surprised at how productive they can remain virtually with the proper tools.
Since the outbreak, Google's G Suite has confirmed an active user count of over 2 billion. We're likely to see upticks in Trello and Microsoft Planner, too, in a bid to manage the workforce's tasks without managers breathing down their neck.
Coronavirus or not, you can access Skype's free conference call functionality via this webpage.